POLICE were sent to check on yet another illegal traveller encampment in Bicester.

A photo shared on a private Facebook group yesterday appeared to show about four police cars parked in the Telford Road industrial estate, with several caravans visible in the background.

The vehicles appeared to be clustered in a car park opposite Brewers decorator centre.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman today confirmed that officers had attended an 'unauthorised encampment' but said responsibility for enforcement rests with the landowner.

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The force's guidance on dealing with unauthorised encampments, published in May, states: "It should be borne in mind that trespass alone is not a criminal offence but a civil one.

"Police powers will only be used when the particular encampment is having a significant impact such as depriving a community of local amenities, a significant impact on the local economy/environment or where there is significant anti-social/criminal behaviour that requires immediate action to address.

"Responsibility for dealing with an unauthorised encampment initially rests with the landowner.

"Where there are aggravating factors then there may be a need for local authorities and police to consider taking action."

There is no suggestion that there were any such factors with the Telford Road encampment.

It is not clear if the group remain on site or if they have since left the estate.

Last year travellers encamped in public spaces in Oxfordshire no less than 60 times, costing taxpayers more than £100,000 in clean-up and legal bills.

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Bicester Park and Ride was one of the locations that was used in 2018, as well as fields and car parks across the county.